"It's sad to see you leave." "It's sad seeing you leaving."

I know the first one has a infinitive, and the second one a gerund. But I'm not sure about the difference of the meaning. or these two sentences mean exactly same?

  • There is at least one related/ duplicate Q on this site. Please check the previous posts. See also the tag "infinitive vs. gerund". Good Luck.
    – Kris
    Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 6:47

1 Answer 1


I think of the main difference between the two is the picture it paints in your head. "Sad to see you leave" tells me that there is a plan or action of departure. It does not insinuate that the person is leaving at this exact moment.

Now, "sad seeing you leaving", alerts me to the action sense of the verb. It's happening now. The leaving is present and it is happening as you speak. You can't come back from leaving, but to leave means you can come back.

Example: He came. He's coming. Which one do you feel is happening now at this moment?

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